Ah, Paris. This magnificent European city has a lot of things to offer, an intimate vibe for honeymooners, a number of iconic monuments, gorgeous flower gardens, Michelin-starred restaurants, and the glum catacombs of Paris.
Of course, everything can’t be jolly and happening always, right?
The catacombs of Paris are arguably one of the most incredible and intriguing attractions the city is known for, and your trip to this wonderful city becomes much more fascinating with this monument on your itinerary.
Have you ever wondered what lurks deep beneath city streets? Every day, hundreds of Parisians and visitors stroll directly above a network of hidden underground passageways that are home to 6 million skeletons.
A glum history that frequently goes unnoticed as people rush to work and go about their daily lives, while an unforgettable realm dwells below.
Explore the Parisian catacombs, which have walls covered in skulls and remains of the dead all over. Over the period of thirty years, the catacombs have housed the remains of over 6 million individuals.
There are around 200 km of passageways at a depth of 25 m beneath the surface, of which only approximately 2.5 km is offered to the public for exploration. Visiting this terrifying location is a tremendously remarkable experience.
The catacombs of Paris are silent, humid, gloomy, and a little depressing, but immensely interesting. The destination should be high on your list of intriguing locations to see in Paris.
A visit to the city will allow you to get to know it better as well as give you a unique opportunity to observe the beauty in the disarray.
Reasons to Explore this Terrifying Yet Historic Marvel
1. Biggest Necropolis Beneath the Ground
The catacombs of Paris are the true hidden gems of Paris, and the whole excursion is a solo tour that allows spectators to explore at their own wish.
Once you step inside, you’ll find yourself in a long series of tunnels with directions and information boards teaching you the history of the destination.
You will get to the original Catacombs, a dark cemetery, in around 8 minutes at the moment you enter. And we guarantee that you haven’t seen anything like this collection of human skeletons before.
Numerous skulls are carefully positioned to make an endless column of skeleton pieces there. When you realize that so many bones were living individuals, you can’t help but tremble.
If you don’t feel uneasy, you can take photographs of yourselves and the skeletons.
2. You Will be AweStruck
The mortal remains of Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI are stacked up beside the remains of the rest of the royals who were assassinated alongside them amid the French Revolution of 1789.
3. So Many Bones
You’ll observe that the skeletons are neatly organized as you navigate around a network of passageways.
Most typically, you will notice that the interior walls are built of thigh bones capped with human skulls. Several bones are packed more precariously behind these well-arranged fences.
There are even certain areas where the skeletons are more beautifully ordered, you must snap a picture for memory here!
You’ll be amazed at how beautifully the bones may be arranged. The rhymes and hymns etched into the symbols will be more easily understood if you bring a guide.
4. What Transpired the Bones to be Here?
To summarize a long story in brief, there was a severe influx of deceased individuals in Paris in the late 18th century. One particular spot stands out: the Holy Innocents Cemetery, located in the center of the city.
Throughout the Middle Ages, nearly all of Parisians’ corpses have been buried here, explaining the steady packing over time.
Insufficient space for corpses in the city became a serious problem in other graves by the end of the French Revolution. The remains had to seek a new home since the overflow posed potential hazards to the surrounding region.
All About its History and Origin: A Glum Story
The catacombs’ origins started in the 18th century, while Paris was plagued by serious public health issues which resulted in the demise of les innocents.
The city was expanding, and the cemeteries started quickly filling up, resulting in sanitary challenges for the neighbouring areas.
Paris officials needed to reduce this congestion and boost the city’s overall wellness. They discovered a rapid answer in the Tombe-Issoire quarry, a navigable collection of tunnels developed in the Roman era.
The purge of tombs surrounding Paris began in 1785, and bones were carried into tunnels. The subsurface location was dedicated as the “Paris Municipal Ossuary”—a site for the collection of human remains—on April 7, 1786.
Following that point, the location has been known as the “Catacombs,” which alludes to the earlier Roman burial grounds with corridors.
The cremated remains of six million individuals were relocated to their ultimate burial site in the catacombs over the course of 12 years. The initial evacuations began at Paris’s biggest cemetery.
The labour-intensive operation of relocating the bones involved diggers, cleaners, vehicles, priests, and animals. In order to avoid offending the surrounding communities, the projects had to be completed discreetly at night.
Tips Before Visiting the Catacombs You Must Know
Simply get a ticket on the internet and double-check the time frame you picked.
The catacombs of Paris are dedicated to allowing access to as many people as possible. Nevertheless, due to subsurface limits, they are inaccessible to people in wheelchairs and those who require step-free access.
It is strictly prohibited to go inside the catacombs of Paris with luggage a big bag, or a helmet to preserve the privacy and conservation of the ossuary. Bags no bigger than 40x30x20 cm are permitted. They have to be held in front of you or at the side of you.
Photos for personal use are permitted, however, you are prohibited from using a tripod or other bulky items that may interfere with other guests.
You are permitted to use a flash without bothering other guests. There is also a giant cinema screen further in so don’t forget to explore it as well.
The journey through the area accessible to the public is two kilometres long. The catacombs of Paris are said to be 320 kilometres (199 miles) long in all but only a small section is open for you to discover, and it requires a minimum of 45 minutes to go through them, so pack shoes that are comfortable.
Carry anything warm because the average temperature in the catacombs is fourteen degrees Celsius. Of course, you are not permitted to make contact with the bones, which are the delicate remnants of countless Parisians.
To travel to the catacombs of Paris, take the train or RER to Denfert-Rochereau, or take Bus 38 or 68.
You may travel to the Denfert-Rochereau station in the metro by taking metro lines 4 or 6. The Paris Catacombs are just a few minutes from the metro exit. The code for the catacombs of Paris is 75014 Paris on the left bank, you may also take a cab if it fits in your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many people died in the Paris catacombs?
There are currently almost six million human bones in the catacombs. Throughout the French Revolution, the French continued cremating the new deceased in the catacombs, but the ritual was discontinued after 1860.
2. Are the skulls in the catacombs real?
Slowly but steadily throughout the 18th century, the quarrymen covered the walls with femoral bones accented with skulls, which served as the foundation for the majority of the exhibits seen by tourists now.
3. Can you buy a ticket at Catacombs Paris?
For a tour of the Paris catacombs, you can purchase tickets straight away at the entrance, or via the internet through their website. This second alternative is preferable because purchasing them in advance avoids enormous crowds.
C’est Ici L’empire De La! There’s much more to the city of love than dazzling towers, museums, delectable delicacies, and breathtaking monuments.
There are treasures beneath the city to be discovered that many tourists have ignored for far too many years, just like this largest cemetery which police discovered very later on.
Carry a map, or as they say ‘carte de Paris’ around to avoid being lost, it will come in handy in case you cannot speak French. You can plan your itinerary through Du Site Paris musée, also, do not forget to observe the logo Du Site Paris!
Every day, many people living there and visiting are unaware that they are walking immediately above a lengthy stretch of underground passageways housing 6 million bones.
This is about an eerie past that often goes unnoticed as people in a hurry commute to work and go on their daily lives spanning city limits, but a very intriguing world lies just beneath them.
These underground passageways are known as the catacombs of Paris, where there is usually a huge line of people who want to visit the eerie world trapped underneath.
To avoid long lines, make your reservation online. Get ready to explore les catacombes de Paris in underground Paris but keep in mind that this is not for faint hearted and that we warned you about what lies beyond through l’empire de la mort. Have fun!
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